7 Answers To The Question, "Are You Okay?"
We don't exactly know if you're asking this question because we're freaking you out with our silence, or you want to be funny and use this as a good conversation starter, or you're plain unaware of that cute little frown on our faces. When you ask us if we're okay when we're clearly not, we kind of want to give that adorable face of yours a good slap because we're not okay, obvs. For your reference, we listed down 7 of our most common answers to this question ranks from safest to deadly. You're very welcome.
When we resort to ugly-crying in your arms without giving you enough time to finish the question, that means we don't have time for mind games anymore and we just need a good embrace. Wrap your arms around us and everything will be fine... including your safety.
SAFER: "NO. I. AM. NOT. OKAY."
Don't mind the tone of our voice. This statement means you're still safe, hooray! It's just a semi-bad day for us and you can still remedy our sad hearts with a scoop or two of our favorite ice cream flavor (or some flattery?).
This could also mean we're just not in the mood to talk about what brought us to this emotional state, but our silence is not permission for you to walk out on us. Our day isn't turning out the way we wanted it to, but having you around, your mere presence and knowing that you're ready to listen in case we already want to talk, is comforting enough for us. So please, stay.
50-50: "Want to take a guess?"
Depending on your answer, this could either be safe or deadly. There's really no right or wrong answer, but a close-to-good response would be, "Please just tell me. I just want you to have a good day." Sometimes we just love to play mind games with you to avoid talking about our problems or just for the heck of it. If you show us you're ready to help us through, everything turns out fine... well, usually.
BRACE YOURSELF: "I'm fine."
Leave us in peace. Allow us to breathe. Just sit beside us and wait for that moment when we want to talk already. And when we do talk, don't say anything. Nod and agree. This is a very crucial time. One move, one word and we're going to explode. Just allow us to let some steam off.
UH-OH: "What do you think?"
Oh, boy. Whether we're giving you an evil smile or a deadly stare, know that when we use this line on you, there's a high chance that you did something wrong. Recall what you've done hours or even days ago. And when you do, come up with the best plan (grand declarations of adoration, if necessary) to make us feel better. Just a reminder: Don't ever make us tell you what you did wrong. You'll only make matters worse.
DEADLY: "Really? You're asking me that?"
Confiiiiirmed, you really did something wrong. The best thing you can do is raise the white flag and apologize. Admit you're wrong and we'll call it a truce... depending on our mood.
We know we can be pretty harsh sometimes and we don't mean to, promise. We know you, guys, don't have the power to read our minds. But sometimes we just expect you to. Modern Family's Mitchell Pritchett couldn't have said it any better, "You want to believe you're on the same wavelength as someone, and then it's just a little disheartening when you find out you're not."
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First. Pixie dust and paper cuts – these are the first things Wendy knew about Peter Pan. Aurora first met Prince Philip when she was sixteen. Learning how to ride a bike was also a first while I was growing up, but you are probably the first of too many. The first collection of dust and stars; maybe Luna will try to ask, who was your first? I might answer and tell her that it was you.
The first of too many stars in the sky. You are the first of too many fallen leaves during fall – and you will be the most anticipated snowflake as winter comes. A dark path that you can’t see without any light, hence, you were once the moon and there are the stars that shine so bright at night. Are we too early? Or we just really want to be ahead of time? Even in a glimpse, I would like to see the two of us connect as if we can reach the sky. There are other parts of the heavens you have never saw and other oceans you haven’t laid your feet onto – but the constellations will always wait for you. Close your eyes, love, close your eyes. Start counting backward: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Count backward until you see the twinkling lights that will guide you to the right path. To the right satellite; to the right person. A first.
There are many firsts – first love, first heartbreak, first sport you played, the first thing you do in the morning, the first thing you remember about the person in front of you. There are a lot. It’s actually up to us how we will consider something as a first. So, Primo, you are already a first of too many.
If you know me, and know me well, I am not the biggest fan of idyllic lifestyles. With a Type A personality, I act immediately upon whatever challenge that needs to be addressed. I actually enjoy keeping my mind preoccupied: doing university work in my favourite cafe then running errands around town, grocery shopping here, updating my accounts there, photocopying documents on the way down the street - all just in time before having a glass of champagne at the bar with my friends come evening.
And so, you could imagine my bewilderment when the next challenge to be faced was an extensive self-quarantine protocol. I didn’t know what to do when my greatest responsibility in this situation was to do nothing at all. My first few attempts to combat my consternation were very much rooted in distraction and imagination. My distractions involved conducting research, writing songs, calling family and friends, filming videos, and eating chocolate! My imaginations and fantasies were centred on travelling, shopping, even clubbing (which I rarely do) for when they find a cure to COVID-19. I did anything and everything that could be considered constructive in order to pass the time, mainly hoping I could just undertake the basic human necessities to survive - that is, eat and sleep the day through - until the next day comes, until the world is closer to becoming a better place, until quarantine ends, until my flight follows through, until I see my family and friends again.
Days in self-isolation and suspended flights turned to weeks and turned to months. By the third extension here in Spain where I study Fashion Business, I had to tell myself this shall be my new normal now, that I was blessed to be healthy, that I was tired of merely existing and missed what it was like to actually live - even if just within four walls. Little by little, I began to find significance in the simple occurrences of the day: the soft glare of the rising sun beaming golden streaks through my bedroom window upon waking up, the fragrance of freshly washed bed sheets that I had painstakingly hung to fit a relatively small clothes rack without crumpling them, the crunch and tanginess of warm toasted bread topped with raspberry marmalade, the buzzing sound of a phone call from home just waiting to be answered, to the caress of a fuzzy sweater to keep warm at night. I realised, “What pleasures to be enjoyed in the pause of slow living!” Through this continued pause, which I loathed at first, I began to appreciate each moment of the day rather than wish it would pass more swiftly, moments I had overlooked so often before the lockdown. I started to find that the challenge of self-isolation was never to pause both the regular routines of life as well as the positive emotions that came with these - as initially, I thought it meant to pause all happiness, so as to withstand a time of endurance in hopes for a better tomorrow, much like a form of delaying gratification. Life is just too fragile these days to delay gratification any further.
Life has paused, but it has not stopped. Believe that like any punctuation mark in a sentence, the pause will provide the right timing of things to take place. Till then, let us not waste our time waiting. Instead, we could be in the moment, seek substance in simplicity (that is, in what we already have), And enjoy the pleasure in pause. “Practice the Pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.”